GARETH BALE eased Jose Mourinho’s international fears by returning a negative test and then declared: We feel safe.
Mourinho slammed the treatment of his stars away with their countries, with Matt Doherty testing positive and Son Heung-min training with South Korea despite safety fears being ignored.
Wales star Bale was also pictured hugging Irish team-mate Doherty after Sunday’s win and had initial fears but has since returned a negative test to get the all-clear to face Finland in tonight’s Nations League decider in Cardiff.
Bale said: “We feel safe. Things do happen which are out of your control and you never know where the virus is and that’s why it is so difficult.
“We have been lucky we haven’t had anyone (positive) yet. It’s a difficult time for everybody.
“It’s a slight concern for everybody when you have been playing someone and you have been in close contact on the field but maybe not long enough to catch it.
“Obviously, you’re a bit wary but it’s good news that everyone has come back and tested negative and now we can concentrate on the game.
“Sometimes things are unfortunate and people do catch it. I’m sure those players will self-isolate and do what they can to protect everyone else.
“Other countries have had issues where maybe it’s been travelling or something has happened along the way. Every nation is trying their best, trying to do what they can to stop anyone getting the virus.”
Wales caretaker Robert Page sympathises with Mourinho, 57, and other club managers over their concerns.
But Page revealed the Welsh FA test their players and staff even before arriving on camp, the backroom staff watched the Ireland game to check for close contact before following the Uefa protocol for testing.
He added: “Of course, it has been a concern for us. We've tested all of our players and they've come back negative, thankfully.
“I can only speak for the protocols we have put in place off the pitch. There is going to be contact on the pitch. We’ve watched the game back and it’s hard to determine how long you have to be in close contact for. If there is any risk whatsoever we will absolutely not take the chance.
“Our medical staff and the protocols have been put in place have been second to none. We have had consistent negative tests so that goes to show we are doing something right.
“We are borrowing world-class players. Of course, I can understand manager’s concerns with players coming away. But it’s no different to when they have them at their club. We all have a job to do and we want to win games. It’s all about working together."
Bale has revealed the rules his Welsh pals must undertake in preparation for international games.
Bale, 31, added: “Everybody is doing their best and we’re all trying to stick to the protocols. There’s only three-four to a table to make sure we are socially distanced, we go at different times to get food, wearing gloves to serve our food, no sharing rooms anymore.
“The FAW have done a fantastic job and gone to great measures to make sure we are safe, important that everyone takes it seriously and we are leading by example by being on TV and trying to do things correctly and responsibly. I’m glad none of us have tested positive. Hopefully we can keep that up.”
Bale has spoken to Spurs pal Doherty, who will now miss Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City, and added: “He is doing fine. He’s just got mild symptoms so the most important thing now is hopefully he recovers fine and doesn’t have any problems and he can be back playing as soon as possible.”
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